M E D I T A T I O N
Pilgrimages have always played a very important role in religious life and they are not only a speciality of Christianity. The Israelites considered their Exodus from Egypt into the Promised Land as a form of pilgrimage and still remember it as such today. Jesus also went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem several times. The Church conceives its journey through the times up to the time of the second coming of Jesus as a pilgrimage and calls itself the Pilgrim Church. Already at a very early date, Christians from near and far set forth for the Holy Land in order to see Jesus´ place of birth, of death and of His Resurrection. Up to the present times, pilgrimages have remained an important part of Christian practice.
In the course of history, the places of pilgrimage have changed. New places of pilgrimage have emerged where the faithful gathered. The development of society and the progress of technology brought about new means of transportation. In addition to going on a pilgrimage by foot, other modes of transportation were used more and more. Because of these changes, the essential meaning of a pilgrimage was sometimes forgotten. The Church noticed this and took pains to organize pilgrimages so that their original meaning would return. Today people travel frequently and to far-away places so that there is a danger that a pilgrimage may turn out to be just an interesting journey.
The document "Pilgrimage in the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000" of the Holy Sea from 1998 gives theological and pastoral directions for a pilgrimage. At the end of the second millennium of Christianity, places of pilgrimage are being recommended to the faithful where many can experience the special closeness of God. In our times, the parish of Medjugorje is such a place and, as such, it must be preserved. It is the duty of all to safeguard in the shrine of the Queen of Peace all that, which has alrady led millions of pilgrims to Medjugorje for many years.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
MIRJANA SOLDO´S YEARLY APPARITION ON MARCH 18, 1999
"Dear Children! I want you to surrender your hearts to me so that I may take you on the way which leads to the light and to eternal life. I do not want your hearts to wander in today's darkness. I will help you. I will be with you on this way of discovery of the love and the mercy of God. As a mother, I ask you to permit me to do this. Thank you for having responded to my call."
The appartion lastet for 6 minutes from 10:14 to 10:20 a.m. Our Lady spoke about the secrets. She blessed everyone.
MEETING OF THE FRANCISCAN YOUTH
On March 13 and 14, 1999, members of the Franciscan Youth - Frama from Zagreb, Široki Brijeg and Medjugorje gathered for a prayer meeting in Medjugorje. About 100 young Framas came here from Zagreb to prepare themselves for two days during this Lent for the most important Christian Feast - Easter. The young Framas from Zagreb have already been coming to Medjugorje for several years during the Lenten season. This year, they were led by Fr. Ivica Jagodi, the national assistant for the Franciscan youth. They were joined by the young Framas from Široki Brijeg who also have been coming to Medjugorje by foot for the fifth consecutive year during Lent. The young Framas from the parish of Medjugorje also joined them in prayer, song and discussion.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE SIXTH PRAYER-EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR
As we reported in the last Press Bulletin, the sixth Prayer-Educational Seminar for the leaders of prayer groups, peace centers and pilgrimages to Medjugorje took place in Neum from February 28 to March 5, 1999. 150 leaders from fifteen countries attended the meeting. On this occasion the participants made the following
We have reflected on the Document of the Holy See "Pilgrimage in the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000" - the characteristics of pilgrimages to large Marian Sanctuaries - as they apply specifically to Medjugorje. Conscious that pilgrimages play an important role in the life of the faithful, we want to organize our pilgrimages even more wisely so that they truly become an opportunity and an occasion for the faithful to find spiritual edification through them, to deepen their spiritual life and to orientate their way of life towards God.
This is why we make the following recommendation to all Medjugorje Centers and prayer groups:
- to participate in the pilgrimage programs organized by their local parishes for the Great Jubilee 2000;
- in light of the above-mentioned Document of the Holy See, to prepare, accompany and organize pilgrimages to Medjugorje so that the pilgrims can experience "the silent and attentive contact with God and with themselves", especially in the Sacrament of Holy Confession and in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje, BiH, fax number: +387-88-651-444.
Last Modified 03/24/99